As London is hit by an alarming Omicron surge, Boris dispatches the British Army to’step up’.
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has announced that BORIS JOHNSON will begin deploying troops to assist the NHS as a result of COVID-19-related staff shortages.
A total of 200 armed forces personnel have been assigned to hospitals throughout the capital.
With a large increase in cases and many NHS staff being forced to isolate, London has been the epicenter of the Omicron outbreak.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace praised the military’s efforts during the pandemic.
“Our armed forces are once again stepping up to support their dedicated NHS colleagues as they work together to protect the nation from COVID-19,” he said.
“Whether driving ambulances, administering vaccines, or supporting patients in hospitals, they have proven their worth time and time again throughout this pandemic, and they should be proud of their contribution to this truly national effort.”
The deployment will include 40 military medics and 160 general duty personnel, according to the Ministry of Defense.
They’ll be filling in the gaps left by NHS workers who become ill or are forced to isolate.
There will be 40 5-person teams, each with a medic and four support personnel.
The areas with the greatest need will be prioritized, and assistance will be provided for the next three weeks.
Additionally, until the end of March, 32 military co-responders will be assigned to the South Central Ambulance Service, where they will work alongside paramedics.
Patricia Marquis, director of the Royal College of Nursing in England, said the military deployment meant the government could no longer deny the NHS was suffering from a “staffing crisis.”
“Questions about the ability of NHS staff to deliver safe care can no longer be dismissed,” she said.
“Once the military has been brought in, where will the government turn next in an attempt to ‘ride out’ rather than deal with the wave?”
The news comes after Boris Johnson stated that ministers hoped to “ride out” the Omicron wave in England without the need for additional restrictions.
Around 1,800 military personnel have already been deployed across the country to assist civil authorities with the pandemic response.
More than 1,000 people have also volunteered to help with the vaccine booster program.